Housing costs key factor

Image via iStock

Goodbye, Silicon Valley. Hello, Silicon Slopes.

The tech hubs of San Francisco and San Jose fell precipitously in this year’s ranking of U.S. cities’ economic performance released Wednesday morning by the Milken Institute, a nonpartisan think tank that’s published the index every year since 1999. San Francisco and San Jose, which ranked Nos. 1 and 5 last year, respectively, fell to Nos. 24 and 22. Meanwhile, the Provo-Orem region in Utah captured the No. 1 spot, and Salt Lake City rose to No. 4. Utah, the report notes, “has been a recipient of the tech sector’s out-migration from the more expensive coastal cities of California,” attracting companies like Qualtrics, Vivint and SmartCitizen.

The report — which ranked cities based on jobs, wages, high-tech growth, housing affordability and household broadband access — found that the pandemic’s shift to remote work has likely affected California more than any other state. With companies like Salesforce, Twitter, Square, Dropbox, Yelp and Pinterest permitting most employees to permanently work from home, downtown San Francisco is reeling. And Silicon Valley companies Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Oracle recently decamped to Texas, though Google is still planning to expand its offices in San Jose and San Francisco.

  • Kevin Klowden, executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Regional Economics: “The pandemic has had an outsized impact on cities where the economic effects of the current recession are exacerbated by high housing costs.”

Of the 10 cities that saw the biggest drop in rankings, three were in California: Salinas, Santa Cruz and Oakland. The report attributed this partly to “extremely high housing costs” due to their proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area, noting that many residents don’t have “jobs and salaries in high-tech industries to compensate for high costs of living.”

But costs can even be prohibitive for those who do. After CJ Paillant, a product manager for a Silicon Valley software company, lost his job early in the pandemic, his $5,400 monthly rent payments began piling up. He and his roommate now owe $43,805 in rent, CalMatters’ Laurence Du Sault reports.

  • Paillant“I got stuck in my luxury apartment. Now I’ve got to raise this money. My life feels like a movie.”

CalMatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics. 

  • California’s climate goals likely out of reach

    The first, from California State Auditor Elaine Howle, doesn’t mince words: “The state will fall short of meeting the 2030 goal” of a 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels “unless emissions reductions occur at a faster pace.” The audit, which found that transportation emissions have actually increased since 2013, rebuked the California Air Resources Board for overstating the impact of its emissions-reduction programs

  • CA GOP smooths party fractures ahead of recall

    As the California GOP mobilizes behind the recall — to which it’s donated $125,000 — it will also have to reckon with Trump’s divisive legacy.

  • Tensions ramp up

    The bold step suggests that Newsom and lawmakers have significantly different interpretations of what’s necessary to get kids back in the classroom, especially when it comes to vaccines.

  • Texas sneezed & now K is catching a cold.

    The last thing you want is for us to be taken out by a Texas storm.

 

Pledge Now!
KPFK is a progressive media outlet challenging corporate media perspectives and providing a voice to voiceless communities. Help keep KPFK a strong and independent source of music, arts, news and information.

Schedule

  • Something's Happening

    12:00am - 6:00am

    News and programming on the cutting edge

  • Rock Profiles with Maggie LePique

    6:00am - 7:00am

    An hour long look into the music, lives and legacies of the musicians who defined a uniquely creative era, ushered in social as well as political change and created music that has truly stood the test of time.

  • Sojourner Truth wMargaret Prescod

    7:00am - 8:00am

    Sojourner Truth brings you news and views on local, national, and international policies and stories that affect us all.

  • Democracy Now!

    8:00am - 9:00am

    Democracy Now! goes beyond the rhetoric and party politics offered by the mainstream media. Instead, it highlights grassroots efforts to enhance and ignite democracy in the U.S.

Events

Get the Pacifica App

Listen to all the Pacifica Stations on your phone, get news updates and more!

  • Available on the App Store
  • Available on Google Play

Today's Weather

  • Los Angeles Area Forecast

    Sunny

    High: 75°F | Low: 48°F

Weather Forecast

  • Fri

    75°F

  • Sat

    73°F

  • Sun

    72°F

  • Mon

    72°F

  • Tue

    66°F

Follow us on Social Media